Lacking more and more in the business world are business owners who hold people accountable for their performance. The result is the burden of accountability falling instead on the business owner alone. After all, the business owner is the one responsible for everything that happens in their business, the buck stops with them. As a Part Time CFO, I can tell you that this additional burden of accountability is unproductive to business owners and will negatively affect your bottom line. One person cannot do it all, even if that person is the business owner. The people under you need to be held accountable for their responsibilities.
Primarily 3 things will cause a lack of accountability in an organization (not in any particular order):
- Inaccurate and untimely financial statements – Financial statements are the supreme measure of business performance, like a scorecard for the business. Inaccurate or late/irregular financial statements make it impossible to measure performance properly. If you don’ know or you’re unsure of the real measure of performance, you can’t hold anyone accountable for anything because you might be wrong.
- Fear of Losing an Employee – Some favoritism may come into play if a business owner thinks the loss of a particular employee would be detrimental to their business, and they will purposely deflect as much pressure and accountability away from that employee as they can, even if the employee is at fault.
- Lacking a strategic plan – Your business will lack direction without a strategic plan. With a strategic plan that they can communicate to the rest of the organization, a business owner can give employees the reason to be accountable. If they’re not given a reason to be, an employee will not be accountable. Accountability will also break down if the strategic plan is applied inconsistently or changed too often, so it’s crucial to keep your plan consistent and be adamant about its application if you want accountability from your employees.
To increase the bottom line, increase the value of their business, but mostly just to sleep at night, business owners should ensure that everyone in the organization is accountable.